A Handbook of Christian Ethics Volume 62; V. 108
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1908 Excerpt: ... end of all physical training is to More...
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1908 Excerpt: ... end of all physical training is to develope that healthy vigour of body which is an indispensable condition of the best life for man. That end is to be attained most fully and certainly not by athletic competitions in which the competitors are called to strain their powers to the uttermost, but rather by moderate gymnastic exercises planned and regulated by medical science. The warning in regard to physical discipline finds its counterpart as we pass to the psychical side of moral life. The virtue of temperance in its widest meaning comprehends, as we have seen, all those forms of selfcontrol which imply a check upon the natural cravings that arise from the attractiveness of pleasure. Accordingly, as we have also seen, it requires for its development a discipline consisting in special exercises of selfdenial--that is, exercises in which we deny ourselves a pleasant indulgence, not because the indulgence would in itself be wrong, but simply to train the power of voluntary self-control. But such exercises create and foster a certain attitude of the mind towards pleasure in general. During the moment of the exercise the surrender of a pleasure, which in itself is innocent, becomes a virtuous act--virtuous because of the virtue which it is calculated to train. But here again the end is apt to be overlooked in the immediate requirement of the means. The sacrifice of any pleasure, whatever its nature may be, comes to be thought of as virtuous in itself without reference to the end which it is designed to serve. By the same process of thought, pleasure in general is at last viewed as an evil, and total abstinence from it is made the prominent feature of a virtuous character. This is the phase of morality commonly understood by the name of asceticism. It is, in fa...